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PIX: Bayern Munich, Real Madrid win; Barcelona held

October 05, 2020 18:47 IST
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IMAGE: Barcelona's players celebrate after Philippe Coutinho scored the equaliser against Sevilla, in Barcelona, on Saturday. Photograph: Albert Gea/Reuters

Philippe Coutinho scored his first league goal since returning to Barcelona to help his side draw 1-1 at home to an excellent Sevilla side in La Liga on Sunday as the Catalans dropped points for the first time under Ronald Koeman.

 

Europa League holders Sevilla took an early lead when Dutch forward Luuk de Jong pounced on a poor headed clearance in the area and smashed into the net, flummoxing Barca keeper Neto.

But the Catalans hit back less than two minutes later when club record signing Coutinho, back at the club after spending last year on loan with Bayern Munich, reacted fastest to fire home after a Lionel Messi pass was deflected into his path.

Antoine Griezmann missed a good chance to give Barca the lead before halftime but hit the side netting while midfielder Frenkie de Jong should have scored late in the second half but missed the target from inside the area.

Sevilla could also have snatched a winner, with Youssef En-Nesyri seeing a deflected shot hit the crossbar before failing to test Neto with a free header.

Barca and Sevilla each have seven points after three games and are fifth and sixth in the standings, with champions Real Madrid top on 10.

IMAGE: Sevilla took an early lead when Dutch forward Luuk de Jong, left, pounced on a poor headed clearance in the area and smashed into the net. Photograph: Albert Gea/Reuters

The Catalans had made a superb start to the campaign under new coach Koeman, hammering Villarreal 4-0 in their opening game before pulling off an impressive 3-0 win at Celta Vigo despite having 10 men for the entire second half.

But they met a very different challenge in Sevilla, who finished fourth in the league last season.

"We knew this would be a really difficult game and so it proved, Sevilla are an excellent team and they played very well, they flooded the midfield and we struggled to cope with that but at least we earned a point," Coutinho said.

"It's been difficult for us to play three games in one week but this is just the start, we'll soon get used to this."

Sevilla coach Julen Lopetegui felt his side deserved more.

"It's very difficult to leave this ground with a point but I'm not satisfied because we had our chances," he said.

"It was tough because they are a great team but it's a real shame we couldn't have got more from the game. We are playing with a lot of confidence at the moment but we should demand a little more from ourselves."

Barca's new signing Sergino Dest made his debut three days after completing his switch from Ajax Amsterdam, coming off the bench to replace the injured Jordi Alba.

Real Madrid cruise to victory to go top of La Liga

IMAGE: Real Madrid's players celebrate after Karim Benzema, 2nd left, scored the second goal against Levante, in Valencia. Photograph: Alex Caparros/Getty Images

Goals from Vinicius Jr and Karim Benzema plus some top class saves from Thibaut Courtois gave Real Madrid a 2-0 win at Levante on Sunday for a third consecutive La Liga victory.

Brazilian forward Vinicius, Madrid's match-winner in Wednesday's 1-0 win over Real Valladolid, also gave his side the lead at Levante, controlling a loose ball inside the area and taking his time to curl into the far corner in the 16th minute.

Real missed chances to extend their lead but in the end had to rely on another exceptional performance from goalkeeper Courtois to see out the victory, before Benzema added their second goal deep in added time on the break.

The win took the champions top of the standings with 10 points after four games, despite starting the season later than many of their rivals.

Four-star Lewandowski gives Bayern last-gasp win

IMAGE: Robert Lewandowski sores the fourth goal for Bayern Munich from the penalty spot against Hertha Berlin. Photograph: Andreas Gebert/Reuters

Bayern Munich's Robert Lewandowski scored four goals including a stoppage-time penalty to give the German champions a 4-3 home win over Hertha Berlin in a pulsating Bundesliga clash on Sunday.

The result left Bayern fourth in the standings on six points from three games, one behind the top three led by Leipzig on goal difference, while Hertha slipped to 13th on four points.

The sides had a goal each ruled out for offside before Lewandowski fired Bayern into a 40th-minute lead, drilling in a Serge Gnabry cross after goalkeeper Alexander Schwolow had saved his header.

Bayern seemed to be in cruise control after Lewandowski made it 2-0 with a superb shot on the turn from the edge of the penalty area in the 51st, but the visitors had other ideas.

Jhon Cordoba pulled one back with a towering header which Bayern keeper Manuel Neuer could not keep out and Matheus Cunha equalised after muscling his way past several defenders to steer a low shot into the bottom corner.

That set up a frantic climax, with Lewandowski again taking centre stage and boosting his tally to 103 goals in 98 home games for Bayern at the Allianz Arena.

He popped up at the far post in the 85th minute to tap in a cross from the right but Bayern's joy was short-lived as substitute Jessic Ngankam levelled three minutes later with his first touch of the ball.

The 20-year old Ngankam netted his first Bundesliga goal with a diving header after a cross from the left, only for Hertha to see what would have been a well-deserved draw slip from their grasp.

Bayern and Lewandowski had the last laugh as the prolific Polish striker dispatched his spot-kick into the bottom left corner after he was hauled down by Maximilian Mittelstaedt.

After the two-week international break, Bayern visit promoted Arminia Bielefeld while Hertha host Vfb Stuttgart on October 17.

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